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Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals in 2016 Near 135,000; Deaths Reach 418

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Greece - IOM estimates that 134,905 migrants already have crossed the Mediterranean this year. Of these, 125,819 have reached the Greek islands. The remainder landed in Italy. Media reports indicate that arrivals to Spain in 2016 are fewer than 100.

Monthly arrivals in Greece have dipped slightly from the 67,415 recorded in January to 55,633 in February. Thus far in March, arrivals total just 2,771. IOM Athens reports that in the past 14 months since the start of 2015 the total number of sea-borne arrivals in Greece has reached 970,911. This suggests that the threshold of one million arrivals of migrants and refugees in Greece will be reached within the next two weeks.

IOM Athens reports that the Greek Asylum Service has announced that they received 1,171 asylum applications in January – 227 from Syrians, 66 from Iraqis, 52 from Yemenis and 43 from Eritreans – all nationalities fleeing places in the throes of violence and civil strife. Another 221 asylum applications were registered from Pakistan, 78 from Albania, 73 from Bangladesh and 55 from Georgia.